Drugs, bullying, weapons: Which are the safest states for high school students?

Almost all southern states are at the bottom of the list due to the highest incidences of school shootings, levels of students carrying weapons, and rates of sexual assault on school property.

If you’re trying to figure out if you work in one of the safest—or least safe—states for high school students, consider: California has the lowest rate of bullying, but students in the Golden State are also the most likely to be exposed to illegal drugs and is plagued by school shootings, according to a new report from Scholaroo, a scholarship search firm that researches K12.

School shootings are most common in Texas and Georgia and least likely to occur in Rhode Island and Hawaii.

Overall, the safest states for high school students are those where the risk of threats, fights or injuries with a weapon and exposure to illegal drugs on school property are low. Almost all southern states are at the bottom of the list—along with two northeastern states, Pennsylvania and New York—due to the highest likelihood of school shootings, more students carrying weapons, and high rates of sexual assault on school property.

Leadership shifts: Restorative justice—Why it may be the best response as behavior worsens

Recent research shows that less punitive restorative justice appears to be a more successful approach to improving behavior than a harsh disciplinary crackdown or a reversion to zero-tolerance suspensions, a University of Chicago study asserts.

In Chicago public high schools that have adopted the practice, arrests fell by 19% and out-of-school suspensions dropped by nearly as much, according to “From Retributive to Restorative,” a report released by the National Bureau on Economic Research.

Safest states for high school students

Here are Scholaroo’s overall rankings, starting with the safest states:

  1. Washington
  2. Delaware
  3. Kentucky
  4. Oklahoma
  5. New Jersey
  6. Connecticut
  7. Minnesota
  8. South Dakota
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Vermont
  11. New Hampshire
  12. Michigan
  13. Nebraska
  14. New Mexico
  15. Hawaii
  16. Indiana
  17. Rhode Island
  18. Colorado
  19. Idaho
  20. Ohio
  21. Maine
  22. Alaska
  23. Wisconsin
  24. Arizona
  25. Maryland
  26. South Carolina
  27. North Dakota
  28. Utah
  29. Mississippi
  30. Virginia
  31. Iowa
  32. Missouri
  33. Illinois
  34. Kansas
  35. Nevada
  36. California
  37. Montana
  38. West Virginia
  39. Wyoming
  40. Oregon
  41. Arkansas
  42. Florida
  43. Alabama
  44. Tennessee
  45. New York
  46. Texas
  47. Pennsylvania
  48. North Carolina
  49. Louisiana
  50. Georgia
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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